Youth offending service officer
Youth offending team officers work to prevent children and young people under 18 from offending and reoffending.
Salary range: £20,000 to £38,000
How to become a youth offending team officer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- applying directly
You could do a foundation degree, degree or postgraduate award in:
- youth work
- youth justice
- social work
You’ll usually need:
- at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
Volunteering and experience
You can start by volunteering to work with young people. For example, mentoring will give you an understanding of the issues they face.
You can also support young people in the criminal justice system by volunteering as an appropriate adult. Opportunities and training are organised locally.
You may be able to apply directly for jobs if you have relevant experience and a qualification in:
- youth work
- social work
You’ll find more details about working with young people, training and volunteering through the Youth Justice Board.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of psychology
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to work on your own
- customer service skills
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties might include:
- carrying out risk assessments and planning how to manage future risk of reoffending
- preparing reports for the courts before sentencing
- coming up with action plans to support young offenders and prevent them from reoffending
- referring young offenders to agencies to support their welfare needs, like housing, or drug and alcohol misuse services
- supervising young offenders on court orders and community sentences, and after their release from secure institutions
- helping young offenders into education, work or training, and encouraging them to take part in constructive activities
- visiting young people in secure institutions
You could work in a court, at a client’s home, in a prison, in the community, at a police station or in an office.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress to team leader or team manager.
With further training you could move into social work or educational welfare.